Quantum quench in non-relativistic fermionic field theory: harmonic traps and 2d string theory

Sumit R. Das, Shaun Hampton, Sinong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We investigate a class of exactly solvable quantum quench protocols with a finite quench rate in systems of one dimensional non-relativistic fermions in external harmonic oscillator or inverted harmonic oscillator potentials, with time dependent masses and frequencies. These hamiltonians arise, respectively, in harmonic traps, and the c = 1 Matrix Model description of two dimensional string theory with time dependent string coupling. We show how the dynamics is determined by a single function of time which satisfies a generalized Ermakov-Pinney equation. The quench protocols we consider asymptote to constant masses and frequencies at early times, and cross or approach a gapless potential. In a right side up harmonic oscillator potential we determine the scaling behavior of the one point function and the entanglement entropy of a subregion by obtaining analytic approximations to the exact answers. The results are consistent with Kibble-Zurek scaling for slow quenches and with perturbation calculations for fast quenches. For cis-critical quench protocols the entanglement entropy oscillates at late times around its initial value. For end-critical protocols the entanglement entropy monotonically goes to zero inversely with time, reflecting the spread of fermions over the entire line. For the inverted harmonic oscillator potential, the dual collective field description is a scalar field in a time dependent metric and dilaton background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


  • Field Theories in Lower Dimensions
  • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)
  • Matrix Models
  • Nonperturbative Effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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